Essay about The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

Essay about The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

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Agoraphobia is derived from the Greek words agora, meaning “gathering place” or “assembly” which was used to describe a city’s marketplace, and phobia meaning “fear.” It literally means "fear of the marketplace." Carl Westphal first coined the term “agoraphobia” in 1871 to describe people who were afraid of large open spaces. Since then, the definition of agoraphobia has been modified and continues to develop as more research is done. (Barlow, 2002, p. 328) The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM–5; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013) defines the essential trait of agoraphobia as "marked, or intense, fear or anxiety triggered by the real or anticipated exposure to a wide range of situations." (p 218) It is the most common phobia. To further understand agoraphobia, this essay will explore the characteristics, causes, being a Christian with agoraphobia, and the treatments.

I. Characteristics of Agoraphobia
Characteristics of agoraphobia are a marked fear or anxiety about two or more of the following: "using public transportation" like cars, planes, trains, and buses; "being in open spaces" like a market, a parking lot, a bridge, or ship; "being in enclosed places" like a store, a theater, or an elevator; "standing in line or being in a crowd"; or "being outside of the home alone." (APA, 2013, pg 217) This fear differs from other phobias in that the fear is not the specific place or thing, but the person is afraid that they might not be able to leave or get help if they panic or are incapacitated or have embarrassing symptoms or situations. This might be because of other medical conditions such as vomiting or inflammatory bowel symptoms. Older adults might fear falling. Children might fe...


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...s: the nature and treatment of anxiety and panic (2. ed.). New York, NY [u.a.: Guilford Press.

Bennun, I. (1986). A Composite Formulation of Agoraphobia. American Journal Of Psychotherapy, 40(2), 177.

Cammin-Nowak, S., Helbig-Lang, S., Lang, T., Gloster, A. T., Fehm, L., Gerlach, A. L., & ... Wittchen, H. U. (2013). Specificity of Homework Compliance Effects on Treatment Outcome in CBT: Evidence from a Controlled Trial on Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia. Journal Of Clinical Psychology, 69(6), 616-629. doi:10.1002/jclp.21975

Pollard, C. Alec, and Elke White. The Agoraphobia Workbook: a Comprehensive Program to End Your Fear of Symptom Attacks. Oakland, Calif.: New Harbinger, 2003. Print.

Strodl, E., & Noller, P. (2003). The relationship of adult attachment dimensions to depression and agoraphobia. Personal Relationships, 10(2), 171-186. doi:10.1111/1475-6811.00044

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